Friday, May 17, 2013

Innis & Gunn - Oak Aged Rum Cask Ale (2011)

Originally brewed at Belhaven for Innis & Gunn. Production moved to Wellpark - date unknown.

NOTE: This is the same beer as the Oak Aged Beer Rum Finish. According to Innis & Gunn "they are the same beer, the process changed slightly so we changed the name. But the recipe is the same."

We are delighted to present this unique limited bottling of Innis & Gunn finished in oak barrels which previously contained navy rum. Maturation in special oak barrels imparts Navy rums with the sweet, spicy character for which they are renowned. We have long wondered what flavors might be imparted to our beer by finishing it in these same barrels and earlier this year we decided to find out. We brewed a special batch of Innis & Gunn beer and matured it in oak for 60 days. Every single drop spent half of that time in American oak barrels before being refilled into selected navy rum barrels to finish the lengthy maturation. Once the beer had absorbed the unique character the barrels were emptied, the beer blended and then maturation continued for a further 47 days until all of the flavors had married together and mellowed. We think the result is absolutely delicious! 

The ABV is 7.4 and the IBU rating is ??
Style - Wee Heavy
Glass to use - Pint Glass, Tumbler, Snifter or Tulip
Delivery - 330ml Bottle

Can be cellared for long periods, under the proper conditions.

The Pour - Pours a dark amber color with a small tan head. Good lacing.
Aroma - Boozy, sugar cane, spiced rum.
Taste - Rum, sweet, brown sugar, mulled spices.
Mouth Feel - Medium carbonation and full body. Smooth.
Drinkable - Very easy to drink. This is the first Rum aged beer I've had to date.  As a Rum lover I can really appreciate the blend.  This brew aged very well. 

This beer pairs well with blue cheese and white meats.

This beer gets a Duper rating of B
BeerAdvocate Rating = 86
Ratebeer Rating = 83

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Dark Horse - Plead the 5th

It’s big and full bodied with lots of roasted malts and balanced with heavy hops to put this imperial in a league of its own.

The ABV is 11.0 and the IBU rating is ??
Style - Imperial Stout
Glass to use - Pint, Snifter, Gobbet or Chalice
Delivery - 12oz Bottle

Can be cellared for long periods, under the proper conditions.

The Pour - Pours a solid black color with a dark tan head. Good lacing.
Aroma - Nutty, coffee, cocoa and malts.
Taste - Sweet, chocolate, coffee, malty and a slight bitter after taste.
Mouth Feel - Medium carbonation and Fall body with a smooth finish and a nice warm alcohol burn.
Drinkable - I purchased a 4-pack in April with the intention of aging at least two bottles.  Bit it was sooo good I used the fourth bottle for this review. I'll need to find another 4-pack!

This beer pair well with cheese, desserts, mostly chocolates.

This beer gets a Duper rating of A
BeerAdvocate Rating = 96
Ratebeer Rating = 100

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Russian River - Consecration (2010)

Dark Ale aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels from local wineries. It is aged for 4 to 8 months with black currants, brettanomyces, lactobacillus, and pediococcus added to each barrel. Rich flavors of chocolate truffle, spice, tobacco, currants, and a bit of Cabernet. Very full-bodied, sip slowly!

The ABV is 10.0 and the IBU rating is ??
Style - Sour Dark Ale
Glass to use - Flute, Tulip, Oversized Wine Glass
Delivery - 375ml Bottle

Can be cellared for long periods, under the proper conditions.

The Pour - Pours a dark ruby color with a tan head that vanishes quickly. No lacing.
Aroma - Sweet, fruity, spices, cherries and vanilla.
Taste - Tart, funky after taste from the brett, hints of tobacco and oak.
Mouth Feel - No carbonation and full body.
Drinkable - Pucker tart. Well balanced and it aged very well. 

This beer pairs well with cheese. I had a sharp cheddar during this session.

This beer gets a Duper rating of A
BeerAdvocate Rating = 99
Ratebeer Rating = 100

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Heavy Seas - The Big DIPA

Big DIPA - Uncharted Waters

When Heavy Seas decided to resurrect their Big DIPA, they knew that they needed to make it bigger and better. They’ve brought the beer back with the same 10.5%ABV as before, the same massive amounts of hops as before, but this time, they’ve aged it on oak spirals. Oak spirals suspended in solution allow more surface area to come into contact with the beer increasing the oak presence without increasing exposure time. This results in a smoother oak flavor and further compliments the extraordinary hop characteristics. Cheers!

The ABV is 10.5 and the IBU rating is 75.5
Style - Oaked Double IPA
Glass to use - Snifter, Gobbet or Chalice (Oh sin I had it in a Pint glass)
Delivery - 22oz Bottle

Can be cellared for long periods, under the proper conditions.

The Pour - Pours an amber color with a white head. Little lacing.
Aroma - Hoppy and grassy, spices and a hint of oak.
Taste - A floral hoppiness,some maltiness and a hint of oak.
Mouth Feel - Medium carbonation and full body.
Drinkable - I like it, a Double IPA with just a hint of oaking.  The alcohol is slightly hidden but you can tell it has a kick.  For all of the hops you get out of the nose and taste there is no harsh bitter after taste.  Which is why I like so much. 

This beer pair well with sharp and pungent cheese, grilled meats (BBQ).

This beer gets a Duper rating of A-
BeerAdvocate Rating = 84
Ratebeer Rating = 95

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Dogfish Head - 61 Minute

Sixty-One, our first new core beer since 2007, was born at the crossroads of serendipity, experimentation and brotherhood.

Whenever Dogfish Head President Sam Calagione and his neighborhood friends gather for drinks, they give each other a big ol' man-hug and order a round of 60 Minute IPA. A few years ago, Sam also ordered a glass of his favorite red wine and poured a little into each pint of 60 Minute. They all dug the combination of fruity complexity and pungent hoppiness, and the blend became a beloved tradition.

Sixty-One captures that tradition in a bottle and marries two Dogfish Head innovations: beer/wine hybrids -- which Dogfish has focused on for well over a decade with beers like Midas Touch and Raison D'être -- and continually-hopped IPAs.

The name Sixty-One is a reminder that this beer is Dogfish Head’s best-selling 60 Minute IPA plus one new ingredient: syrah grape must from California. The label, painted by Sam, is a twist on a typical watercolor. Rather than using water, Sam mixed the green pigment with beer and the red pigment with wine. And because Sixty-One pairs so well with chocolate, he painted the browns on the label with melted chocolate.

Sixty-One debuted in March 2013.

The ABV is 6.5 and the IBU rating is ??
Style - American IPA
Glass to use - Pint Glass, Tumbler, Mug or Stein
Delivery - 12oz Bottle

Not recommended for extended cellaring.

The Pour - Pours a clear red color with a white head. Good lacing.
Aroma - Hoppy, sweet and grassy.
Taste - Lightly sweet, hoppy, a tad sour from the grapes (in a good way)
Mouth Feel - Medium carbonation body.  Crisp and dry.
Drinkable - A very nice alternative to the very popular 60 Minute IPA.  Another good session brew.  I first had this on draft outside on a beautiful sunny spring day watchin' the Phillies at a bar in Montgomery County, PA. 

This beer pair well with pepper cheese. We had it with spicy chicken wings.

This beer gets a Duper rating of B+
BeerAdvocate Rating = 83
Ratebeer Rating = 66

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Widmer Brothers - Barrel Aged Brrrbon '12

Seasonal Ale Aged in Bourbon Barrels.

Barrel Aged Brrrbon ’12 is the third installment in Widmer Brothers Brewing’s Alchemy Project, a vintage dated beer series that repeats year after year and features handcrafted beers to be enjoyed now or cellared and aged for up to several years.

Hidden in the beautiful dark amber color are aromas of vanilla and caramel that compliment perfectly the presence of bourbon. Soft oak flavors transition into a sweet yet slightly dry finish.

Following the initial brewing process of Brrr, the beer was given a fresh charge of hops during secondary fermentation and then put into Kentucky Bourbon barrels and aged for four months. After barrel aging, the beer was allowed a tertiary fermentation for final conditioning before release.

The ABV is 9.5 and the IBU rating is 40
Style - Barrel Aged Winter Warmer
Glass to use - Pint Glass, Becker, Nonic, Tumbler or Snifter
Delivery - 22oz Bottle

Can be cellared for long periods, under the proper conditions.

The Pour - Pours a reddish amber color with a tan head. Good lacing.
Aroma - Sweet, vanilla, oak and bourbon.
Taste - Mostly same as the nose, malty, the vanilla and bourbon flavors are most prominent, hint of caramel. 
Mouth Feel - Medium carbonation, medium body and smooth.
Drinkable - My first barrel aged winter warmer, I was not disappointed. I'm really diggin' this brew as it warms up.  My first impression was to grade this a B+ but I have upgraded my rating to a A-.   Has a nice warm after taste that's a bit on the bitter side. (Which is a positive thing).  I will look for this brew next year.

This beer pair well with cheese, desserts and white meats.

This beer gets a Duper rating of A-
BeerAdvocate Rating = 82
Ratebeer Rating = 92

Friday, March 8, 2013

Weyerbacher - Sixteen (2011)

2011 marks Weyerbacher's sixteenth anniversary and what better way to celebrate than to make another very special beer?  Sixteen is a dark braggot made with 1,440 pounds of honey per 40BBL batch or over 18.5 oz. per gallon!!  That is truly ABSURD!  It is an impressive beer.  This one is going to be fun to cellar.  It will be really interesting to see how this beauty changes over time. 

Sixteen – Caramel, crystal, munich and chocolate malts form a rich foundation for this dark and complex ale. Brewed with an absurd amount of honey from Pennsylvania bees, this braggot has a profound honey character and a nice warming finish. It is the perfect beer to celebrate our sweet sixteen

2011 GOLD MEDAL at the Great American Beer Festival

Updated 3/8/2013

The ABV is 10.5 and the IBU rating is ??
Style - Braggot
Glass to use- Pint Glass, Tulip, Snifter or Oversized Wine Glass
Delivery 12oz Bottle

Can be cellared for long periods, under the proper conditions.

The Pour - Pours a dark brown with a small tan head. Good lacing.
Aroma - Malts, chocolate, spice nose from the honey and a touch of brown sugar.
Taste -  Malty, spicy, honey some chocolate and caramel notes. A slight bitter after taste.
Mouth Feel - Medium body and carbonation, pretty smooth.
Drinkable - A nice brown ale with a unique after taste from the honey.  There is a nice warm feeling from the alcohol not over powering. At first the taste was much better than the smell.  However, as it warmed up the taste and aroma blended together making a well balanced brew. 

This beer pairs well with cheese or dessert, try it with grilled meat.

This beer gets a Duper rating of A-.
BeerAdvocate Rating =85
Ratebeer Rating = 91

Thursday, March 7, 2013

BrewDog - Paradox Macallan (2008)

Bottle Conditioned, Special Batch 011
Imperial Stout aged in a former 1987 Macallan Sherry Cask 

Scottish Malt Whiskey Casks rock! 

Their ruggedly robust beauty, character, captivating aromas, and unique Scottish heritage had us completely spellbound.  This edition sees our Imperial Stout aged for several months in specially selected Speyside whiskey casks.  This maturation process results in the whiskey flavors and aromas being infused deep into our beer. 

Made in Scotland, Paradox combines BrewDog’s craft brewed beer with the finest malt whiskey casks. 

To release the true character, complexity, and depth of flavors in the beer, please enjoy it at room temperature, unless you live in an igloo.”

The ABV is 10.0 and the IBU rating is ??
Style - Imperial Stout
Glass to use- Pint Glass, Snifter, Oversized Wine Glass
Delivery - 330ml

Can be cellared for long periods, under the proper conditions.

The Pour - Pours a solid black color with no head. No lacing.
Aroma - Malts, scotch, chocolate, coffee and some vanilla bean.
Taste -  Malty, dark chocolate and a slight bitter after taste.
Mouth Feel - Low carbonation.  Full body.  Smooth.
Overall - Aged extremely well, a well balanced 5 year old brew.  Very good, not what I was expecting. I do not detect any barrel aging other than the Scotch and vanilla bean aromas. 

This beer may pair well with cheese and grilled or smoked meats.

This beer gets a Duper rating of A.
BeerAdvocate Rating = 89
Ratebeer Rating = 98

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Cigar City - Dos Costas Oeste (2011)

Dos Costas Oeste is the result of a collaborative brewing effort between Cigar City Brewing of Florida’s Gulf (West) Coast and The Bruery of Placentia, CA.  Like the breweries involved with its creation, this ale cheerfully meanders off the beaten path.

This Saison is a high gravity ale with coriander, ginger and sweet orange peel aged on grapefruit wood spirals.    This is Variation #2 – aged on grapefruit wood spirals.   Variation #1 was aged on cedar spirals.

Bottled by Cigar City.


The ABV is 9.0 and the IBU rating is ??
Style - Saison / Farmhouse Ale
Glass to use - Pint Glass, Becker, Tumbler or Oversized Wine Glass
Delivery - 750ml Bottle

Can be cellared for long periods, under the proper conditions.

The Pour - Pours a cloudy orange color with a big white head that vanishes. Some lacing.
Aroma - Citrus fruit, spices - I get coriander and the ginger is very strong, hops
Taste - Same as the nose, strong ginger and orange.
Mouth Feel - High carbonation and medium body.
Drinkable - I opened the bottle and the brew rushed out of the top (gusher!), I had to scramble to the sink. Lucky that only a half a glass ended up on the floor instead of my belly.  From what I've read online this is a normal occurrence for this brew.  I would call this a Winter warmer for the summer time.  Very refreshing, should have opened on a hot day.

This beer pair well with cheese, salads and white meats.

This beer gets a Duper rating of B
BeerAdvocate Rating = 86
Ratebeer Rating = 92

Thursday, February 28, 2013

North Coast - Old Stock Ale - Vertical Tasting (2010-2011)

I've done vertical tastings in the past but have never written up a review.  For my first I decided on North Coast's Old Stock Ale, the 2010 and 2011 vintage.  I've had a few bottle from the 2010 case, tonight was the first time I opened the 2011 case.


As a continuation of North Coast Brewing Co.’s commitment to quality, our Old Stock Ale is crafted in the tradition of our critically acclaimed Pranqster Belgian Style Golden Ale and Old Rasputin Imperial Stout. It’s brewed with classic floor-malted Maris Otter Pale Malt and Fuggles Hops imported from England, so it’s a beer to be served proudly. Like a fine wine, North Coast’s Old Stock Ale is intended to be laid down. With an original gravity of over 1100 and a generous hopping rate, Old Stock Ale is well-designed to round-out and mellow with age. North Coast Brewing Co. Old Stock Ale is a vintage dated ale. We produce a small quantity each year and it remains available from release date until our stock is depleted.

pre-2006 ABV: 11.4%.
2006 vintages: 11.6% & 13.25%.
2007 vintage: 11.7%.
2008 vintage: 12.5%.
2009 vintage: 11.5%.
2010 vintage: 11.7%.
2011 vintage: 11.9%
2012 vintage: 11.7%


The ABV is 11.7 and 11.9 and the IBU rating is 35
Style - English Old Ale / English Barley Wine
Glass to use - Snifter, Gobbet, Chalice or Oversized wine glass
Delivery - 12oz Bottle

The Pour - 2010 | Pours a deep cherry red color with a very small tan head. Great lacing.
                  2011 | Pours a mahogany color with a good tan head. Good lacing.
Aroma - 2010 | Deep dark fruits, molasses, just a hint of leather and boozy.
               2011 | Molasses, chocolate maybe cocoa and fruit.
Taste - 2010 | Malty, dark fruit, toffee, a bit of leather and boozy.
            2011 | Malty, sweet, dark chocolate, dark fruit and spices.
Mouth Feel - 2010 | Light carbonation and full body, lots of alcohol.
                      2011 | Medium carbonation and full body, smooth.
Overall - I opened both bottles after cooling in the frig for 90 minutes.  The session lasted about an hour.  The brews were at room temperature towards the end which lead to wonderful toffee and chocolate taste notes.  Reminds me of a good Port or Sherry.  What a difference in color, the 2010 is much darker and I love the deep cheery color.  Though there was not much head on the 2010 it did stick around for the entire session.  Though the 2011 has 0.2% more alcohol it is much more hidden than the 2010.  The 2010 is starting to show its age with the slight leather taste and aroma.  I give the nod to the 2010 but both brews are excellent and deserving of an A grade.  

This beer gets a Duper rating of (2010) = A; (2011) = A-
BeerAdvocate Rating = 92
Ratebeer Rating = 99

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Unibroue - Don-De-Dieu (2009)

Bottle conditioned.
Don de Dieu (Gift of God) was the name of the ship that Samuel de Champlain sailed on his mission to “explore and discover the vast and perilous land of America” in the name of the King of France. His travels led to the founding of Quebec City in 1608 (a modification of the Algonquin word “kebec” which means “where the river narrows”). Inspired by this great adventure, Unibroue created Don de Dieu an abbey-style triple wheat ale refermented in the bottle.

Like good wine, Unibroue’s fine beers have flavors that develop with age. Over time they become smoother, sometimes revealing notes of honey and candied fruit and developing a more assertive and lasting flavor. This phenomenon is known as “maderization” and is similar to the aging process of dessert wines like port.

The ABV is 9.0 and the IBU rating is 10
Style - Tripel Wheat Ale
Glass to use- Snifter, Tulip, Goblet or Oversized Wine Glass
Delivery 12oz Bottle

Can be cellared for 2 to 3 years, under the proper condition.  Best at two years.

The Pour - A cloudy orange color with white head that vanishes to a small ring around the glass.  Good lacing.
Aroma - Citrus fruit mostly orange, spices and yeasty.
Taste - Sweet, malty, dark fruit, dark chocolate and some spice.
Mouth Feel - Medium carbonation and body, crisp and refreshing.
Overall - This one does not have the distinctive unique yeast taste of the other brews. Aged very well like the other three brews from this variety case I purchased three years ago.  The taste just gets better with age.  This was a fast drink (goes down quick), the alcohol is well hidden.

Goes great with sharp cheese, salads and grilled meats.

This beer gets a Duper rating of A
BeerAdvocate Rating = 92
Ratebeer Rating = 97

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Unibroue - Trois Pistoles (2009)

Bottle conditioned.
Trois Pistoles (Three Coins) is named after a small village of Quebec. Founded over 300 years ago, Trois Pistoles gave birth to several legends, including one about the Black Horse. It involved a local bishop who conjured up a good devil (appearing in the form of bridled black steed) to haul large brick stones to construct a new church. When someone accidentally removed the bridle, the black horse suddenly vanished just as the last remaining stone was to be set. This stone is still missing, as can be seen when visiting the local church.

Like good wine, Unibroue’s fine beers have flavors that develop with age. Over time they become smoother, sometimes revealing notes of honey and candied fruit and developing a more assertive and lasting flavor. This phenomenon is known as “maderization” and is similar to the aging process of dessert wines like port. The dark color and smooth taste of Trois Pistoles reveals a ripe fruity aroma and lasting flavor reminiscent of aged port.

The ABV is 9.0 and the IBU rating is 16
Style - Strong Dark Ale
Glass to use- Snifter, Tulip, Goblet or Oversized Wine Glass
Delivery 12oz Bottle

Can be cellared for 5 to 8 years, under the proper condition.  Best at five years.

The Pour - A dark brown color with tan head that vanishes to a small ring around the glass.  Good lacing.
Aroma - A very distinct Unibroue smell from their unique yeast, dark fruit, cocoa and molasses.
Taste - Sweet, malty, dark fruit, dark chocolate and some spice.
Mouth Feel - Medium carbonation and full body, a bit fuzzy but not bad.
Overall - Like the other brews from Unibroue this has a distinctive and complex taste due to it's unique yeast. Aged very well like the other three brews from this variety case I purchased three years ago.  The taste just gets better with age.  I will purchase this case again and push the aging to fives year next time around.

Goes great with blue or strong cheese and chocolate and other desserts. Try it as an aperitif or a digestif.

This beer gets a Duper rating of A
BeerAdvocate Rating = 94
Ratebeer Rating = 100

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ithaca - Excelsior 12 (2009)

Twelve is a Monastery-style Quadruple Ale reverently brewed with French malts, German hops then piously fermented with a special blend of Trappist yeast strains. Enjoy the burnished chestnut color, remarkable balance of fruity and spicy aromas, rich but dry flavor and long contemplative finish.

Twelve was first tapped on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2009 at the brewery.

Batch E!028

The ABV is 10.0 and the IBU rating is ??
Style - Quadrupel
Glass to use - Snifter, Tulip, Goblet, Chalice or Oversize Wine Glass
Delivery - 750ml Bottle

Not recommended for extended cellaring.

The Pour - Pours a dark brown color with a tan head and good lacing.
Aroma - Malty, molasses and fruit.
Taste - Sweet, tangy, toffee and dark fruits.
Mouth Feel - Medium carbonation and body. 
Overall - This aged very well - 3 years.  Much like the Eleven.  As for the style, Ithaca did an excellent job.  I like Doubles and Quads - this one is just as good as some of the Belgium quads I've had over the years. 

This beer pairs well with cheese and desserts and beef.

This beer gets a Duper rating of A-
BeerAdvocate Rating = 87
Ratebeer Rating = 94

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Rouge - 21 Ale

21 Ale is dedicated to Art Larrance and Teddy Peetz, the founders of the Oregon Brewers Festival.

21 Ale is brewed with 14 ingredients: 2 Row, Briess Amber, C-40, Wyermann Carafa & Rogue Farms RiskTM Malt; Willamette, US Goldings & Rogue Farms Revolution Hops; Simpsons Golden Naked Oats; Franco-Belges Carawheat; Molasses, Brewer’s Licorice, Wyeast Old Ale Blend Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.

Rogue remains committed to saving the terror of Oregon hops and barley, one acre at a time, by growing our own.

The ABV is 7.79 and the IBU rating is 30
Style - Old Ale
Glass to use - Pint Glass or Tumbler
Delivery - 750ml Bottle

Can be cellared for long periods, under the proper conditions.

The Pour - Pours a dark amber color with a big tan head. Great lacing.
Aroma - Sour funk, some oak and a bit of dark fruit.
Taste - Musty and sour.
Mouth Feel - High carbonation and medium body.
Drinkable - To be quite honest I think this brew did not age well.  I might be wrong, the brewers may have meant for this brew to be this funky.  I do not like it.  I do love the the bottle however, for what it's worth.

This beer pair well with an old pair of shoes.

This beer gets a Duper rating of C
BeerAdvocate Rating =86
Ratebeer Rating = 93

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Dieu du Ciel - Solstice d'hiver (Winter solstice) 2010

This noble winter beer is brown in color with flaming red highlights. Its taste is delicately sweet and liquor-like with a hint of burnt caramel coming from the malt and a prolonged boiling time. It is a very bitter beer with aromas of hops and alcohol, and flavors reminiscent of red fruit brought by the English-type yeast we use to ferment it. The aftertaste is accentuated by the wonderful flavor of hops. Solstice d’Hiver is brewed only once a year, and is then aged for 4 to 5 months before being sold. This aging process is necessary to achieve an ideal equilibrium between the sharp bitterness and the other flavors in the beer.

Solstice d'hiver is brewed only once a year, at the end of the summer. It is then aged for a few months in order to attain a perfect balance in taste. Then, it is sold starting mid-December of each year, until stocks last.

The Solstice d'hiver was born in our Montreal brewpub in December 1998.

The ABV is 10.2 and the IBU rating is ??
Style - Barleywine
Glass to use- Pint Glass, Becker, Tumbler or Stein
Delivery 11.5oz Bottle

Can be cellared for long periods, under the proper conditions.

The Pour - Pours a very thick dark brown color with very little to no head. Good lacing.
Aroma - Dark chocolate (cocoa), malts and tartness from the cherries.
Taste -  Wow, very well balanced, sweet, more cherries than chocolate (the opposite of the aroma), hint of vanilla.
Mouth Feel - Low carbonation and full body. Creamy and smooth.
Drinkable - Very nice brew.  I found two bottles; one for this tasting and one to age.  A cool affect with the nose of mostly chocolate and a hint of fruit; and flavor of mostly fruit with a hint of chocolate.  Very well made. 

This beer pairs well with sharp cheese, chocolate or desserts.

This beer gets a Duper rating of A-
BeerAdvocate Rating =83
Ratebeer Rating =98

Friday, February 15, 2013

Brasserie Dupont - Saison Dupont (2010)

The Saison Dupont is a top fermentation beer with re-fermentation in the bottle.

Since 1844, this beer has been brewed in our farm-brewery, during the winter time.  Then this beer became a second re-fermentation in the barrel.  During the next summer, this very thirst-quenching beer was served to the “saisoniers” which were working on the fields.  Surely therefore, our Saison Dupont is considered as “the classic” among the Belgian season beers!

Coppery blond, the finest aromas and a strong bitterness transform this beer into a thirst-quencher with no equal, just the way it was created.  Our selection of yeasts is the perfect base for these typical aromas and ditto taste.

A real re-fermentation in the bottle, which will continue for a long time in your cellar, result into this complex and particular aromatic beer.


The ABV is 6.5 and the IBU rating is ??
Style - Saison / Farmhouse Ale
Glass to use - Pint Glass, Tumbler or Tulip
Delivery - 375ml Bottle

Can be cellared for long periods, under the proper conditions.

The Pour - Pours a straw color with a huge white head. Good lacing.
Aroma - Citrus, grassy, not as much funk as I was expecting and a hint of spice.
Taste - The taste follows the nose, taste just like it smells, grassy and citrus fruit.
Mouth Feel - Medium carbonation and light body.  Crisp and clean.
Drinkable - Refreshing, should have saved this for a hot summer day.  This is first time I have had this brew, I was not over whelmed due to the expectation from its reputation.  Then again I'm not a big lover of the style.

This beer pair well with cheese, salads and white meats.

This beer gets a Duper rating of B+
BeerAdvocate Rating = 94
Ratebeer Rating = 99

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Victory - Oak Horizontal

Old Horizontal is a luxurious, warming Barleywine rich with aromatic hops and dark, candied fruit character that hides its epic strength masterfully.

This version of the Old Horizontal is aged in once-used bourbon barrels for three months then emerged as Oak Horizontal.

Had this bottle at the Iron Abbey.

Released December 2012

The ABV is 10.5 and the IBU rating is ??
Style - Oak Aged Barleywine
Glass to use - Snifter, Gobbet or Chalice
Delivery - 25oz Bottle

Can be cellared for long periods, under the proper conditions.

The Pour - Pours a brown color with a tan head. Clear lacing.
Aroma - Strong vanilla notes, caramel and bourbon from the barrels.
Taste - Malty, bourbon, vanilla, toffee, some spice and very boozy.
Mouth Feel - Medium carbonation and full body.
Drinkable - The bourbon and vanilla are almost over powering at first.  But gives way to smooth taste of the Barleywine.  This is a good alternative to Old Horizontal, I'm glad Victory made this batch but I do prefer the original Old Horizontal.  Find a bottle and give a go....

This beer pair well with strong cheese and desserts.

This beer gets a Duper rating of A-
BeerAdvocate Rating = 90
Ratebeer Rating = 98

Friday, February 8, 2013

Allagash - Curieux (2010)

Allagash Curieux was the first foray into barrel aging. Curieux is made by aging our Tripel Ale in Jim Beam bourbon barrels for eight weeks in our cold cellars. The aged beer is then blended back with a portion of fresh Tripel. The resulting beer is soft with coconut and vanilla notes, with hints of bourbon.


Awards: Bronze, World Beer Cup 2007

The ABV is 11.0 and the IBU rating is ??
Style - Bourbon Barrel Aged Strong Tripel Ale
Glass to use - Snifter, Gobbet or Chalice
Delivery - 750ml Bottle

Can be cellared for long periods, under the proper conditions.

The Pour - Pours a slightly cloudy straw color with a big thick white head. Good lacing.
Aroma - Fruity, flowery, spices and a slight hint of coconut.
Taste - Strong oak tannins, coconut, vanilla, some bourbon
Mouth Feel - Light carbonation and medium/big body.
Drinkable - I've been sitting on this for two and a half years.  It aged very well.  Very complex and balanced well.  I like the nice warm burn that lingers a bit.  Very nice on a cold winter night.

This beer pair well with cheese, desserts, salads and white meats.

This beer gets a Duper rating of B+
BeerAdvocate Rating = 95
Ratebeer Rating = 99

Mikkeller & To Øl - Walk On Water

Picture from brewdrinkrun.com
Mikkeller and To Øl present to you - their effort to make the lightest beer in the world. What is the lightest beer in the world???

What we mean, is that Walk On Water is the beer with the lowest density. It simply weighs the least. Brewers and beer geeks alike tend to describe beer by its density (or gravity). The specific density of a liquid is determined by its amount of dissolved matter. Normally proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and ashes are the four factors governing the density of a liquid. But for a beer it is more appropriate to describe its density by two factors; carbohydrates(sugar) and alcohol. Alcohol is much lighter than water, while carbohydrates (or sugars) in solution will raise the density of water. When we brewed this beer the challenge was to ferment as much of the sugars from the malts as possible, without leaving any residual sugars. This is fairly easy for low ABV beer types, but is much more challenging for a 14% ABV beer - you could say the higher alcohol percentage the lighter, but then again high alcohol would lead to high amount of rest sugar and therefore the beer would be heavier. After working on the breakdown of residual sweetness (Dexedrine etc.) and optimistic our fermentation, we ended up with this beast of a boozy beer! 14% alcohol and no residual sugar making it a 100% attenuation fermented beer makes this the driest and lightest beer in the world. 

Had this at the Iron Abbey on draft!

The ABV is 14.0 and the IBU rating is ??
Style - American Strong Ale
Glass to use- Snifter, Tulip, Goblet or Oversized Wine Glass
Delivery - Draft

Can be cellared for long periods, under the proper conditions.

The Pour - Pours a clear orange color with a small white head that vanishes. Good lacing.
Aroma -  Boozy, dark fruits, i.e., figs and dates.
Taste -  All lot like a "Dogfish Head - Olde School", strong and boozy, sweet, dark fruits and a bit of spice.
Mouth Feel - Low carbonation and full body. Smooth but with a definite alcohol burn throughout.
Drinkable - An awesome brew fer sure!  The ah-ha moment came from the first sip, this is a "DFH Olde School Barleywine".  You cannot mistake the high alcohol and fig taste.  I shall seek out a bottle of this fine beverage and age it for a year or two.  Mikkeller is one of those breweries that just gets it right.  Everything I have sampled from these guys has not disappointed.  Do yourself a favor and find a bottle.  A note on the ratings below, not sure why the Beer Advocate and Ratebeer numbers are so low.  I guess some people just don't know a good beer when they have one, ha!

This beer pairs well with cheese and desserts.

This beer gets a Duper rating of A
BeerAdvocate Rating = 80
Ratebeer Rating = 77

Thursday, February 7, 2013

AleSmith - Decadence Anniversary Ale (2010)

Decadence was first released in 2005 to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. AleSmith has released a new version of Decadence each year around our anniversary date in late fall. The style chosen each year is different, but you can be sure that it will always fit the description of Decadence!

The 2010 and 2005 versions have the same recipe. In 2010 we return to the style that was chosen for the very first AleSmith Decadence®, an English-style Old Ale. Abundant malty flavors and the perfect balance of English hops define this classic style. Four specialty yeast strains and the use of tradition brewing sugars create a rich and tasty flavor profile. AleSmith Decadence pleases and tantalizes the palate in a way that has become the hallmark of AleSmith’s premium ales.

2005 an English Old Ale
2006 an American Strong Ale
2007 an Imperial Porter
2008 an Imperial English Barleywine
2009 a Weizen Bock
2010 an English Style Old Ale (this review)
2011 a Maple Smoked Barleywine
2012 a Quadrupel

The ABV is 11.0 and the IBU rating is ??
Style -English Style Old Ale
Glass to use - Snifter, Tulip or Oversized Wine Glass
Delivery 750ml Bottle

Can be cellared for long periods, under the proper conditions.

The Pour - Pours a brown color with a small tan head. Great lacing.
Aroma - Filled the room with the essence of dark fruit and chocolate.

Taste - Malty, dark fruits (cherries), hints of dark chocolate, caramel and a slight hint of leather.  
Mouth Feel - Light carbonated and a full body.
Drinkable - Gets better as is warms up.  The dark fruits come out strong as the brew warms to near room temperature.  A decent English Barleywine.  Would have been nice to have a vertical session with a fresh bottle of the 2010 and an aged bottle of the 2005.

This beer pair well with cheese and desserts.

This beer gets a Duper rating of B
BeerAdvocate Rating = 90
Ratebeer Rating = 98

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Lost Abbey - Sepent's Stout

The history of the bible and religion is indeed the struggle of good vs. evil. Our Serpent’s Stout recognizes the evil of the dark side that we all struggle with.

This is a massively thick and opaque beer that begs the saints to join the sinners in their path to a black existence.

Tasting Notes: Pours dark and thick, with a creamy mocha-colored head and aromas of roasted malts, dark chocolate and french roast coffee.

The mouth-feel is full, smooth and round on the tongue. The taste is rich with deep roasted malts, cocoa, coffee and a touch of vanilla balanced perfectly against the alcohol to create an excellent winter warmer.

The ABV is 11.0 and the IBU rating is ??
Style - Imperial Stout
Glass to use- Pint Glass, Tumbler, Snifter or Oversized Wine Glass
Delivery 750ml Bottle

Can be cellared for long periods, under the proper conditions.

The Pour - Pours a thick black like ink color with a very dark brown head. Great lacing.
Aroma - Sweet, dark chocolate, molasses and coffee.
Taste -  Malty, chocolate, some dark fruit, molasses, some caramel and a slight bitter after taste.
Mouth Feel - Medium carbonation, full body.  Thick. 
Drinkable - Worth the price, one of the best stouts I have had in a while.  Another great brew from Lost Abbey. Do yourself a favor and find a bottle and enjoy. 

This beer pairs well with sharp cheese, chocolate desserts and smoked meats.

This beer gets a Duper rating of A.
BeerAdvocate Rating = 94
Ratebeer Rating =100

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Lagunitas - Olde GnarlyWine (2008)

The Annual Release of Barleywine Style Ale is Dated and Built to Last.  Flavors Evolve as Hop Bitterness Yields to Crazy Caramel and Rich Toffee Flavors.

Not in production and not sure if it was ever on a regular rotation.  I think the last batch was in 2011.

The ABV is 10.88 and the IBU rating is 69.4
Style - American Barleywine
Glass to use- Snifter, Tulip, Oversized Wine Glass
Delivery 22oz Bottle

Can be cellared for long periods, under the proper conditions.

The Pour - Pours a cloudy brown color with a small tan head.  Good lacing.
Aroma - Malty, sweet with dark fruit.
Taste - Sweet, tangy, malty and a slight hint of fruit.
Mouth Feel - Low carbonation and full body. A bit syrupy.
Drinkable - Aged well to 4 years. I will search out another bottle and hopefully find a fresh one to compare to the aged bottle.  Really did not notice any hop kick, could have called this an English Barleywine.  It's possible that the aging mellowed out the hoppiness.

This beer pairs well with pungent cheese and desserts.

This beer gets a Duper rating of B
BeerAdvocate Rating = 91
Ratebeer Rating = 99

Friday, February 1, 2013

Sam Adams - Thirteenth Hour

The thirteenth hour is the witching hour and refers to the mysterious combination of flavors in this brew. We've combined the roasted chocolate and coffee flavors of a stout with the spicy character of a Belgian ale aged in oak.

The combination of 7 different malts creates a brilliant black brew that's full bodied and smooth with rich notes of coffee, chocolate, and dark fruits like raisins and plums. The dark roasty, and slightly sweet flavors of a stout are blended with the unique, spicy and sour character of our Kosmic Mother Funk (KMF), an ale that's been aged in oak tuns for up to a year. The KMF gives the beer an added complexity with notes of black pepper, oak, vanilla, and a hint of acidity.

Enjoy this beer now or age it to further develop unique flavors. We recommend pouring the beer gently into a traditional glass. Take care not to unsettle the fine layer of yeast that rests at the bottom from the bottle-conditioning, a process which creates an extra smooth and balanced flavor in the beer.

First brewed 2011

The ABV is 9.0 and the IBU rating is 17
Style - Imperial Stout / Belgium Strong Dark Ale (you choose)
Glass to use - Snifter, Tumbler,Tulip or Oversized wine glass
Delivery - 750ml Bottle

Can be cellared for long periods, under the proper conditions.

The Pour - Pours a dark brown color with a tan head. Good lacing.
Aroma - Coffee, chocolate, some spice and sourness.
Taste - Sweet, chocolate, caramel, a bit sour, hint of coffee and spices.
Mouth Feel - Medium carbonation and body.
Drinkable - I bought this bottle six months ago and was planning to age it for a few years, but decided to take it over to a friends house one night.  Not knowing what to expect, I was not disappointed in the least.  I enjoyed this very much.  Overall it is a well balanced brew.  I will by this brew again!

Goes well with strong and sharp cheese, grilled meat.

This beer gets a Duper rating of A-.
BeerAdvocate Rating =85
Ratebeer Rating = 94

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Iron Hill - Fe 10 Anniversary Ale (2004)

10th Anniversary Ale - A truly full-bodied beer. Fe-10 is rich, rich, dark, malty and very complex. Dark in color, this beer uses Belgian Abbey yeast, dark candy sugar and a huge assortment of specialty malts provide layers of complex fruity aromas and flavors, with a warming alcohol finish.

The ABV is 10.5 and the IBU rating is 27
Style - Belgium Strong Dark Ale - Quadrupel
Glass to use- Pint Glass, Snifter, Tumbler or Oversized Wine Glass
Delivery - 750ml Bottle

Can be cellared for long periods, under the proper conditions.

The Pour - Pours a dark brown color with a tan head and good lacing.
Aroma - Malty, dark fruits, chocolate and a bit of molasses.
Taste - Malty, chocolate, sweet and a bit nutty.
Mouth Feel - Medium carbonation and full body.
Drinkable - This bottle aged much better than any other corked Iron Hill brews I've had in the past.  I'm not sure on the aged, Iron Hill was formed in 1994 making their 10th anniversary 2004.  This did not taste like a 8 year old brew.  If it was 8 years old it sure did age extremely well.  Did not detect any booziness, the alcohol is well hidden.

This beer pairs well with sharp or pungent cheese and BBQ.

This beer gets a Duper rating of B.
BeerAdvocate Rating = 86
Ratebeer Rating = 95

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

North Coast - Grand Cru (2012)

Reminiscent of North Coast Brewing's Gold Medal-winning Twentieth Anniversary Ale, North Coast Grand Cru is brewed with pilsner malt and agave nectar, then aged in oak bourbon barrels.

North Coast had a good time exploring the brewing possibilities outside of the standard beer styles. North Coast Grand Cru doesn't fit neatly into any established category. Brewed  exclusively with Pils malt with an addition of agave nectar in the kettle. The beer is then fermented with the same Belgian yeast that is use to ferment North Coast Brewing's Le Merle. It's subtle, complex and lightly hopped with a deceptive 12.5% ABV, and aging it in oak gives this unique beer an extra dimension. The result is really "champagne-like."

North Coast Grand Cru is available in 500 ML bottles with a cork and wire finish and in 1/6 BBL kegs in limited markets throughout the country.

First introduced as North Coast's 20th Anniversary Ale in  May-2009, Vintage 12.5% ABV

The ABV is 12.9 and the IBU rating is ??
Style - Belgium Strong Pale Ale
Glass to use- Snifter, Tulip or Oversized Wine Glass
Delivery 500ml Bottle

Can be cellared for long periods, under the proper condition.

Pour - Pours a cloudy orange color with a white head.  Good lacing.
Aroma - Oak tannins, some fruits and hint of the agave.
Taste - Slight bourbon notes, candy sweet from the agave and fruity.
Mouth Feel - Medium carbonation and body.  Crisp and slight burn from the alcohol.
Drinkable - Not a bad brew, I did like it but too expensive. Worth a try if you can find one for a reasonable price.  I would rather have their Old Stock Ale!

Goes good with cheeses and desserts, white meats.

This beer gets a Duper rating of B+
BeerAdvocate Rating = 80
Ratebeer Rating = 95

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Mikkeller - Santa's Little Helper (2010)


Santa's Little Helper is Mikkellers Christmas beer.  Each year Santa's Little Helper returns, but although Christmas is tradition and repetitions, then Santa's Little Helper is not the same for two consecutive years. Mikkel believes that you can always optimize a recipe, and it is exactly what he was doing with this Belgian-inspired beers. Since 2006 the recipe for Santa's Little Helper has been adjusted and improved. In this 2010 version is nothing short of sublime.

Santa’s Little Helper is a dark, strong Belgian ale, lightly spiced with sweet orange peel, coriander seeds, cinnamon and cocoa. Enjoy now or keep it in the cellar for many years to come.

Ingredients : Water, malt (pale, special-B and chocolate), flaked wheat, dark candy syrup, dark cassonade, hops (northern brewer, hallertauer, styrian goldings and simcoe), spices (bitter and sweet orange peels and nutmeg) and yeast.

Brewed at De Proefbrouwerij in Lochristi, Belgium.

The ABV is 10.9 and the IBU rating is ??
Style - Belgium Strong Dark Ale
Glass to use- Snifter, Tulip, Goblet or Oversized Wine Glass
Delivery - 750ml Bottle

Can be cellared for long periods, under the proper conditions.

The Pour - Pours a dark brown color with a tan head which hung around for half an hour. Great lacing.
Aroma -  Lots of spices, malts, sweet, dark fruits and hint of chocolate.
Taste -  Chocolate, malts, some bitter spices and just a touch of nutmeg, some dark fruits.
Mouth Feel - Medium carbonation, full body. Creamy.
Drinkable - A very good Belgium Xmas brew, like a spiced Belgium Doubel. I have never had a fresh bottle so can not compare with the two years of aging.  Though it taste very good for a two year old brew and the carbonation is perfect.

This beer pairs well with cheese, smoked or grilled meats, BBQ or Chinese cuisine.

This beer gets a Duper rating of A-.
BeerAdvocate Rating =90
Ratebeer Rating =98

Dogfish Head - Pangaea 2009 (Update)

This is the update from my first review (click here)

Brewed with ingredients from each and every continent, this is slightly spicy ale, with a mouthful of rich flavors. Pangaea is a great food beer.

List of worldly ingredients includes:
  • Crystallized ginger from Australia
  • Water from Antarctica
  • Basmati rice from Asia
  • Muscavado sugar from Africa
  • South American quinoa
  • European yeast
  • North American maize.
Original Release Date: 11/2003

Pangaea is released annually in the fall and is bottled in 750ml bottles. I purchased two bottles of this 2009 vintage at the Rehoboth Beach brewpub.  My first review was the summer of 2011, this review is the winter of 2013.

The ABV is 7.0 and the IBU rating is 28
Style - Belgium Strong Pale Ale
Glass to use- Snifter, Tulip or Oversized Wine Glass
Delivery 750ml Bottle

Can be cellared for long periods, under the proper conditions.

The Pour - Pours an orange color with a white head and good lacing.
Aroma - Coriander, pepper, grapes and lots of ginger.
Taste - Spicy, fruity, ginger and sweet.
Mouth Feel - Medium carbonation and body, crisp.
Drinkable - Refreshing, the ginger might be overwhelming for some folks but that is one of the main ingredients.  A little too sweet for my taste. This brew aged very well.

This beer pairs well with cheese and desserts.

This beer gets a Duper rating of B+.
BeerAdvocate Rating =85
Ratebeer Rating =86

Stone - 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale (2010)

This ninth edition of our Stone Vertical Epic Ale series which started 02.02.02 and takes two interesting left turns. A Belgian-style golden triple is the starting point of this beer, but the first left turn is nearly immediate with the addition of dried chamomile flowers, triticale, and Belgian amber candy sugar. The second, and rather unusual left turn takes us half an hour up the road from Stone to Temecula courtesy of the addition of just-pressed Muscat, Gewurztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc grapes from our friends at South Coast Winery. As the Stone Vertical Epic Ale series has moved through the calendar, we found that the brewing schedule for a 10.10.10 release coincided nicely with the grape harvest, neatly providing an interesting twist in this epic ale.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, Stone Vertical Epic Ales are designed to be consumed in, well, an epic vertical tasting on 12.12.2012.  Well I missed the date on this bottle review by a month and a half.  However one of the brewpubs a frequent (Capone's in Norristown) did have a vertical tasting spread over a few weeks in December 2012.  I was able to sample most of the series.

The ABV is 9.5 and the IBU rating is ??
Style - Belgium Strong Pale Ale
Glass to use- Pint glass or Snifter, Tulip, or Oversized Wine Glass.
Delivery 22oz bottle.

Can be cellared for long periods, under the proper conditions.

The Pour - Pours a hazy golden amber color with a nice white head that vanishes are about 5 minutes.  No lacing.  
Aroma - Grapes, citrus fruits., sweet and some spices.
Taste - Grapes and hints of orange, sweet and a bit tart.
Mouth Feel - Low carbonation.  Medium body. Mild bitter after taste. Clean and somewhat crisp.
Drinkable - Nice and refreshing.  I wish I had open this during the warmer months, I think it's an excellent summer brew.  Try to find some bottles from the Stone Vertical Epic series and enjoy.  

This beer pairs with salads, chicken or pork.

This beer gets a Duper rating of A-
BeerAdvocate Rating =85
Ratebeer Rating =93

Friday, January 25, 2013

Mikkeller - Beer Geek Breakfast (2011)

The big breakthrough in the international beer world arose with the clean and simple idea of adding french press coffee to an oatmeal stout. The result ‘Beer Geek Breakfast’ was voted number one stout on the international beer forum Ratebeer.com and kick-started Mikkeller’s international success. At the Danish Beer Festival 2006 Mikkel and Keller had their first official stand with eight different beers to offer. That same year two American distributers travelled all the way to Denmark to court the small brewery, which resulted in Mikkeller signing a distribution deal with the American beer distributor, Shelton Brothers. To cope with the demand, the two brewers started brewing Beer Geek Breakfast at the Danish microbrewery Gourmet Bryggeriet. In the beginning of 2007 Keller left Mikkeller to pursue a career as an editor of the Danish music magazine Soundvenue, and Mikkel continued on his own with the ambition of taking Mikkeller to another level.

Recent batch of this has been brewed by Mikkeller at Nøgne Ø. Has also been brewed at Gourmetbryggeriet, Denmark.

English: An oatmeal stout with 25.0% oat-based ingredients and a nice touch of gourmet coffee. A beer that goes extremely well with breakfast.
Ingredients : Water, malt (pils, oat, smoked, caramunich, brown, pale chocolate and chocolate), roasted barley, flaked oats, hops (centennial and cascade), ale yeast and gourmet coffee.

The ABV is 7.5 and the IBU rating is ??
Style - Oatmeal Stout
Glass to use- Pint Glass, Snifter, Tumbler or Oversized Wine Glass
Delivery - 750ml Bottle

Can be cellared for long periods, under the proper conditions.

The Pour - Pours a very dark brown or black ink color with a big thick dark tan head that resembles a Guinness head. Great lacing.
Aroma - Chocolate, malts, oats, sweet and hints of coffee.
Taste -  Malty, chocolate, sweet, slight bitterness from the coffee. However as it warms up the coffee taste comes through more clear.
Mouth Feel - Medium carbonation, full body.  Creamy and smooth.
Drinkable - I've been anticipating the flavor for a while.  I purchased this bottle over a year ago and decided tonight was the night to pop it opening. It was on a very cold and snowy night in Philly. I was not disappointed, very well balanced and just a damn good tasting brew!

This beer pairs well with cheese, chocolate and smoked or grilled meats.

This beer gets a Duper rating of A.
BeerAdvocate Rating =93
Ratebeer Rating =100

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Port Brewing - Santa's Little Helper - Bourbon Barrel Aged (2011)


Everyone knows that Santa delivers toys and gifts to little girls and boys each Christmas Eve. But what does he do with the sleigh the other 364 days a year?

Well rumor has it he hitches up the reindeer each July testing driving to ensure it’s still in operating condition. At the North Pole they mark their calendars calling it Christmas in July.

How do we know that?

Well, Virginia, each year Santa stops by Port Brewing to load up his sleigh with beer for his return trip to the North Pole.

He’s a big fan of Santa’s Little Helper, and for the last nine months the brewers have been extra naughty aging some in bourbon barrels.

Hopefully Santa won’t drink it all by himself, but we wouldn’t blame him if he did.

Barrel-aged version of Port Brewing Santa's Little Helper.
2009 was the inaugural release of this winter time classic. After brewing the 2008 batch of Santa’s Little Helper, Port Brewing thought “wonder what this would taste like aged in a bourbon barrel?”

The ABV is 10.0 and the IBU rating is ??
Style - Imperial Stout - Bourbon Aged
Glass to use- Pint Glass, Tumbler, Snifter or Oversized Wine Glass
Delivery - 22oz Bottle

Can be cellared for long periods, under the proper conditions.

The Pour - Pours a dark reddish brown color with no head. Some lacing.
Aroma - Malts, boozy from the bourbon, sweet, vanilla and oak tannins. 
Taste -  Same as the aroma mostly bourbon and some bitterness and maybe just a hint of dark fruits.
Mouth Feel - No carbonation and a full body.  A nice slow burn from the alcohol.
Drinkable - This is a sipper, very enjoyable on a very cold night in Philly. One of the best bourbon brews I have had in a while.  I will purchase this brew again next year.

This beer may pair well with cheese and grilled or smoked meats.

This beer gets a Duper rating of A-
BeerAdvocate Rating =86
Ratebeer Rating =98

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Redhook - 8-4-1 Expedition (Limited Release) 2010

An American-Style Strong Brown Ale developed by eight Redhook brewers working in four teams of two to create one beer. The ale reflects a compilation of each team’s individual recipes that were then carefully blended into one distinct beer. 8-4-1 Expedition Ale offers complexly flavor notes, delivering malty sweetness, medium bitterness with hints of smoked flavors and oak chips balanced by the addition of honey, brown sugar and candy sugar.

Malts: Pale, Wheat, Munich, Caramel, Chocolate, and Smoked Malt
Hops: Alchemy, Cascade, Willamette, Crystal, and Sterling
Original Gravity: 20
Brewed Since: October 2009 (This bottle was released in the Spring 2010)
Shelf Life: 365 days (I stretch it to 1050 days)

The ABV is 9.8 and the IBU rating is 55
Style - Imperial Brown Ale
Glass to use- Pint Glass, Becker, Tumbler or Snifter
Delivery 22oz Bottle

Can be cellared for long periods, under the proper conditions.

The Pour - Pours a brown color with a tan head. Great lacing.
Aroma - Malty, spices, sweet and notes of vanilla from the oak.
Taste -  Malty, some hops and sweet.
Mouth Feel - Medium carbonation and medium body.
Drinkable - A very nice Imperial Brown.  The alcohol is well hidden.  A bit on the sweet side for my taste.  This may be due to the aging, which by the way, aged very nice. I think by adding the honey, brown sugar and candy sugar is what contributed to the sweetness.

This beer pairs well with sharp cheese and desserts.

This beer gets a Duper rating of A
BeerAdvocate Rating =84
Ratebeer Rating =90

Friday, January 18, 2013

Mikkeller - Big Worst (2011)


Big Worst is the strongest beer of Denmark with it's 17.6 % ABV. Second place on that list you find Mikkeller's Black. But as Mikkel Borg Bjergsø explained with his usual modesty: "My shoulders are wide enough for both gold, silver and bronze medals - this category included". Big Worst is a barley wine and it's sparse carbonation and vast amounts of hops keeps the sugar in check and makes Big Worst surprisingly easy to drink. Dangerously easy even








First it was Big Bad Barley Wine
Second it was Big Worse Barley Wine (see my review click here)
Next was Big Worst Barley Wine -- 17.6% ABV
Now a new Big Worst Barley Wine -- a whopping 18.5% ABV

I am told this is called the "Experimental Version". Cannot find much on it. It is a slightly different bottle and the beer looks to be lighter in color than the 17.6% version?

First Batch: 17.6% ABV January 2010 Second Batch: 18.5% ABV March 2011

The ABV is 18.5 and the IBU rating is ??
Style - English Barleywine
Glass to use- Snifter, Tulip, Goblet, Chalice or Oversized Wine Glass
Delivery - 375ml Bottle

Can be cellared for long periods, under the proper conditions.

The Pour - Pours a tangerine color with a very small white head that disappeared quickly. Clear coat lacing that sticks to the glass.
Aroma - Dark fruit like cherries, figs and plums.
Taste -  Tart and tangy, sweet, strong fig notes.
Mouth Feel - Low/no carbonation, full body and sticky.  Finishes with a nice slow alcohol burn.
Drinkable - Wow, I found this bottle last year and decided it was time to give it a go.  Pretty sweet but not over the top.  You can definitely taste the alcohol. Just got better as it warmed up to room temperature.  This brew is similar to Dogfish Head's Old School Barleywine. 

This beer pairs well with cheese and desserts.

This beer gets a Duper rating of A.
BeerAdvocate Rating =83
Ratebeer Rating =96

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Russian River - Damnation (2010)

Inspired pretty much by Duvel and other strong golden ales of Belgium. It is medium-bodied, has a fruity/banana bouquet, and a dry, spicy finish.

In the great beer producing country of Belgium, some brewers have made it a tradition to give their beers an unusual name. Sometimes the name is curious, now and then it is diabolical and other times it is just plain silly. Damnation is our brewmaster’s interpretation of a Belgian style Strong Golden Ale. It has extraordinary aromas of banana and pear with mouth filling flavors of sweet malt and earthy hops. The lingering finish is dry and slightly bitter but very, very smooth.

The ABV is 7.75 and the IBU rating is ??
Style -Belgium Strong Pale Ale
Glass to use- Snifter, Tulip, Oversized Wine Glass
Delivery 375ml Bottle

Can be cellared for long periods, under the proper conditions.

The Pour - Pours a cloudy straw color with a white head. Good lacing.
Aroma - Biscuit, floral. and light fruit
Taste -  Fruity, spice. You can tell that Belgium yeast was used.
Mouth Feel - Medium body and carbonation.  Crisp, dry and smooth.
Drinkable - A lot like the Temptation without the oaked sourness.  No strong bitter after taste.  Worth a try, find a bottle and give it a go.  A very well balanced brew, no "in your face" aroma or taste.  I will have this again.

This beer pair well with cheese and white meat.

This beer gets a Duper rating of A-.
BeerAdvocate Rating =98
Ratebeer Rating =92